New Model News

Redesigned 2021 Cadillac Escalade is a tech-filled chonky boi

The Cadillac Escalade has been completely redesigned from nose to tail of the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

This Escalade is more than just a rebadged Yukon with some sleek interior accents. The 2021 Cadillac Escalade furthers the story of the luxury large SUV, expanding the SUV's footprint and loading it with first-in-class tech that should give the automaker a much needed buyer infusion.

There are things about the Escalade that have remained the same. It is still built on the same platform as its General Motors brethren - the GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Suburban, and Chevrolet Tahoe. It also shares a platform with the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra.

2021 Cadillac Escalade The Escalade rides on the same platform as the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

That frame is a solid start and while it defines the dimensions of the vehicle, there are shared body panels with the Suburban, Tahoe, and Yukon, it shows off what General Motors does best and worst with its new vehicles. Product engineers share parts as a cost-cutting procedure. In this case, the frame is okay but the exterior body components hold the chonky Cadillac back, only allowing its uniqueness to shine at the face and tail.

The front of the model is unmistakably Cadillac, projecting forth a fresh take on the grille and headlight hallmarks that were shown on the 2021 Cadillac CT6 when it debuted last year. Twenty-two-inch wheels are standard.

Cadillac has given the Escalade a, independent rear suspension and available Magnetic Ride Control, adaptive air suspension, and electronic limited slip differential.

Its new frame has allowed engineers to give the SUV 40 percent more third-row legroom (up 10 inches) and 68 percent more cargo space than the outgoing model.

2021 Cadillac Escalade The model features design characteristics that are rooted in the brand's modern heritage.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The Escalade is powered by a standard 6.2-liter V8 that achieves 420 horsepower. A 3.0-liter turbo-diesel power plan is available. These are some of the same engines available in other GM products. Both engines are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The Escalade's interior was influenced by the Cadillac Escala concept, which debuted at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It features eight color and trim choices, which include unique seat designs, with custom perforation and quilting patterns.

Cadillac is also touting its soft-close doors, which feature two electric motors.

Front and center in the 2021 Escalade's dashboard is a first-to-market curved Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) screen. It offers over 38 aches of display area with twice the pixel density of a 4K television. The one large screen is home to three smaller screens: a 7.2-inch-diagonal touch control panel driver information center to the driver's left, a 14.2-inch-diagonal cluster display behind the steering wheel and a 16.9-inch-diagonal Infotainment screen to the driver's right.

2021 Cadillac Escalade A single large screen fills the dashboard and contains three smaller screens.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Because of the color saturation of the screen and its curved quality, Cadillac says that there is no need for the typical screen hood design found in most cars with an infotainment or driver's information screen.

There's also an available AKG Studio Reference system. The AKG brand has long been used to provide premium audio quality for musicians in the studio and the company is bringing that high-quality engineering to the Escalade. The system consists of 36 speakers powered by three amplifiers that deliver 28 channels. The Escalade's standard AKG Studio system includes 19 speakers and a large enclosed subwoofer, powered by a 14-channel amplifier.

Cadillac has also worked with sound engineers to provide microphones throughout the cabin of the Escalade that work to amplify the sound of passengers so that no shouting is required to talk amongst each other in the cabin.

Front passengers get control of their own sound system volume knob in models equipped with the Reference system.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Buyers can get up to 36 speakers in the cabin of their Escalade.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The technology list doesn't end there. Drivers will be able to order their Escalade with augmented reality-enabled navigation, which uses live street views with directional overlays to enhance the system's driving directions. Surround Vision allows for a 2 megapixel bird's-eye view of the vehicle's surroundings.

Buyers can opt for the Trailering Integration Package, which offers up to nine camera views including hitch guidance. The package also offers an integrated trailer controller, tire pressure and temperature monitoring, and an Extended Side Blind Zone Alert.

The Escalade can be purchased with Super Cruise driver assistance technology, the only hands-free system in the segment. The technology has been upgraded for the 2021 model year.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Super Cruise is the country's only hands-free driving technology available in a mass market vehicle.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Escalade is also available with a rear camera mirror, night vision (infrared technology that spies pedestrians and large animals in the path of the vehicle at night), and dual-12.6-inch rear entertainment screens that can mirror Android smartphones.

Cadillac will offer the Escalade in five trim levels. Sport and Luxury models will have unique appearances. Escalade Sport models get a black mesh grille and black trim across the exterior. Escalade Luxury models have a bright Galvano finish.

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade will launch in the third quarter of 2020. Pricing will be announced closer to its on-sale date.

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The new Maps+ app will allow drivers to use a navigation system who had not previously purchased navigation.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

General Motors is giving its vehicles a new navigation solution. Maps+, an in-vehicle, app-based way-finding program, will begin rolling out to approximately 900,000 model year 2018 and newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles by the end of 2021, starting on April 30.

"We know customers want an easy and convenient in-vehicle experience that improves over time," said Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president of Global Connected Services. "We listened to customer feedback and developed a product that works seamlessly with our current infotainment systems and provides a highly personalized experience that will iterate throughout the lifetime of the vehicle."

Maps+ was developed in partnership with Mapbox. The new app replaces navigation functionality in already-purchased vehicles that had purchased a navigation system. It provides navigation functionality to drivers of vehicles that did not opt for navigation at the onset.

The new application features Alexa build-in voice control that allows users to listen to music or podcasts using the system's integrated audio apps. A search box allows users to find points of interest, shops, restaurants, parking, and more. There is also embedded speed alert, low fuel recognition, predictive keyboard entry, day and night modes, category shortcuts, rear-time traffic routing, and dynamic mapping capability.

"Our obsession is the driver," said Peter Sirota, CEO of Mapbox. "The map is the canvas for providing the driver with a delightful, easy-to-use experience. From discovering new places to avoiding traffic on your commute to paying at the pump or the plug, Maps+ lays the foundation for an excellent navigation experience. We are excited to build upon this with GM to continue to drive adoption."

GM and Mapbox are committed to continuing Maps+ post-launch, developing new features and improvements based on feedback and metrics.

Maps+ will be available on select vehicles through Connected Vehicle, Premium and App Access subscription plans. Current eligible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac owners will be notified when their vehicle is eligible for Maps+.

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The Bentley Residences will be located on Sunny Isles Beach.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Sunny Isles Beach already owns the distinction as being the home to the most Rolls-Royces at one residence, the Acqualina Resort & Residences On The Beach. Now, a strip of oceanfront land that's halfway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale will be home to a new luxury development designed to fit with the lifestyle of luxury Bentley vehicle owners.

The world's first Bentley-branded residences have been launched in partnership with Dezer Development. They've been designed by Sieger Suarez Architects, a firm that has the Porsche Design Tower (18555 Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach), Trump Grande, and Residences by Armani/Casa in its portfolio.

The tower will be built at 18401 Collins Avenue, the current site of the Days Hotel by Wyndham Thunderbird Beach Resort.

Bentley Residences will contain more than 200 luxury apartments. The building will stand 749 feet and reach over 60 stories high, the same number of floors as the Salesforce tower in San Francisco and Franklin Center in Chicago. It's being billed as the tallest residential tower on any U.S. beachfront.

The residences are built-to-suit domiciles that will include an in-unit multi-car garage as well as ocean and bay views via floor-to-ceiling windows from each apartment. Homes will also have a private balcony, pool, sauna and outdoor shower. Interior amenities will include a gym, spa, whisky bar and restaurant. There will also be communal gardens.

"The modern and progressive brand identity of Bentley Residences is at work in both the tower's interior and exterior spaces, rooted in authenticity, sustainability and innovation," said Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors. "We've partnered with Dezer to create a living experience that expresses the very philosophy of the Bentley brand and stays true to our vision of inspiring extraordinary journeys."

Architects have designed the tower to include uninterrupted views of the ocean and the waterways and feature sustainable materials throughout with a focus on wellness. The project is being designed in accordance with the Florida Green Building Council (FLGC) certification. Additionally, designers plan to use reduced coastal lighting to protect endangered sea turtles.

Construction of the residences will begin in early 2023. They are schedule for completion in 2026.

"Partnering with Bentley Motors, a true global luxury brand and being able to create another first in the Miami marketplace is an extraordinary opportunity," added Gil Dezer, President of Dezer Development. "With Bentley Motors, together we will create something inspiring, powerful and iconic – a true game-changer when it comes to luxury living."

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